Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
This is a review for the first three books in R.J. Scott and Meredith Russell’s Sapphire Cay series. It is available as a full series, or a set of individual books. The sixth book in the series, Forever in the Sun, was just released.
Follow the Sun
Lucas Madison has one focus in life: his sister Tasha. A workaholic, recently diagnosed with high blood pressure among other things, who recently lost his friend and mentor at age 53, Lucas is on the same track if he doesn’t make some serious changes. Although his work is sucking the life out of him, he has promised Tasha two weeks to celebrate her wedding on the beautiful island of Sapphire Cay, where he meets Dylan Gray.
Dylan Gray is a free-spirited wanderer who know workaholics. With a father obsessed with the next deal, Dylan has taken a different path and now travels the globe following the sun, returning to Sapphire Cay every year for a few months of work before continuing on his adventure. Having survived childhood cancer, Dylan lives every day to its fullest.
Dylan makes the first move and eventually Lucas gives in to his attraction to Dylan and the two men get to know each other, become intimate, and grow closer. As the days count down to Lucas’ return home to Seattle to the job that threatens to kill him, and Dylan prepares to hit the road again, can the two men find the strength to acknowledge what has quickly grown between them?
Normally I would discuss the characters first, but today I want to address the world building as it is integral to the three stories included in this review. One might think that saying the stories were set on an island in the Bahamas would be enough to create a vision of the locale, and that may very well be the case, but not here. Scott and Russell took the time to build a world that was not only realistic to me, but that also added depth and evoked emotion without allowing the minor but key details of the island to overpower the characters and their stories.
In Follow the Sun, Dylan and Lucas appear to be opposites, and yet their secretive natures make them more alike than originally believed. I have to admit that neither character stood out as a favorite, which is rare for me to say, but I had to admire the balance between Dylan and Lucas and how the secondary characters (for the most part) contributed to advancing their story. I say for the most part because Lucas’ sister, Tasha did rub me the wrong way through most of the book.
Under the Sun
Jamie Durand returns “home” to Sapphire Cay, not that it is really home, now that his parents have sold it to Dylan Gray. After years in the military, hiding his true self, Jamie needs a place to regroup and figure out what he wants to do with his newfound freedom.
Edward McAllister, uptight, OCD wedding planner meets former Marine and the sparks fly as the two men go for the throat. As their misconceptions about each other gradually disappear, the attraction comes out in full force. Although neither is the other’s type, they quickly realize that they are in fact perfect for each other. When Edward has to return to the mainland once his latest wedding has concluded, Jamie has to decide if he is ready to open his heart and take a chance on Edward.
How do I love a good opposites attract story, let me count the ways…I just adored Jamie, Sapphire Cay’s previous owner’s son, recently returned from his tour of duty. Not only did he sound hot, he also demonstrated such patience, calmness, and vulnerability, which made him irresistible. Edward, a total type A personality, was, at first, an overbearing nit-picker. Okay not just at first, but his reasons were sound and he too had a vulnerable side that it seemed only Jamie could understand.
The tension between the two men was fresh, frustrating, funny, and totally believable to me. I can just imagine the thoughts going through the minds of the secondary characters as they watched the posturing and figurative head butting going on on the island between the two men.
Chase the Sun
Scott has been happy working on Sapphire Cay for Dylan and Lucas, although the travel bug has not really left him. Unexpectedly, Scott runs into his ex, Adam on the mainland. Adam’s appearance is a surprise to say the least considering the last time Scott saw Adam was when Adam was being arrested. Now Adam is in the Bahamas looking for forgiveness from Scott, which he gets, but nothing else.
When Adam’s bag is stolen, leaving Adam penniless, without clothes, and more importantly, without his passport, he knows that his best bet for help is the one man who wants nothing to do with him. Desperate, Adam contacts Scott at Sapphire Cay who arranges for a place to stay until Adam can get a replacement passport. Tension runs high as Scott worries that Adam will revert to his old ways, and Adam hopes that Scott will have a change of heart.
To be honest, this was my least favorite story, but that is because I am not the kind of guy to, first, take back an ex, and second, and take back an ex who “withheld information” in our relationship (e.g. broke the law and went to prison). I just could not relate on any level. Now I can see myself helping said ex, but that would be it.
Setting my personal bias aside for a moment, it was obvious that both Scott and Adam were not over each other, regardless of their past. Scott’s ongoing internal conflict, as well as the push and pull between Scott and Adam, was compelling. This was where the secondary characters really pulled their weight, having been the MCs in the previous stories, their roles here were significantly greater than in the previous instalments.
Overall, Sapphire Cay volume 1 hit the mark even with the few issues I had, such as some of the transitions from present to past were not distinct enough and caused confusion, but as far as nice quick reads go, you cannot go wrong.